HoopsHype Hakeem Olajuwon rumors

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When the day came for the two giants to be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the long, intertwined paths traveled by Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing collided once more. It happened in an intersection on a sunny day in September 2008 as they strolled through Springfield, Mass., to the ceremony. Olajuwon trailed Ewing into the crosswalk; one was always chasing the other, forever trying to close the gap. The man they called Dream was awestruck by what he saw. "We were crossing the street and I was walking behind Patrick, and I saw his physique from the back," Olajuwon said. "And I said, 'How did I ever get my shot over this guy?' That just shows you how super imposing Patrick really is. How did I battle this guy?" CBSSports.com

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Jonas Valanciunas will work out with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer. Olajuwon has worked out with many of the game's big men, most notably Amar'e Stoudemire and Dwight Howard. Olajuwon is also credited with improving the mid-post game of Kobe Bryant. RealGM

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The Rockets had a familiar face on the practice court on Saturday afternoon. Hakeem Olajuwon was in the gym working with several players. He spent a lot of time with Omer Asik, Terrence Jones and Dwight Howard. “Its a great learning experience – a Hall of Famer, one of the best bigs to ever play this game and he has so much knowledge and experience,” Jones said. “It’s so much to take in.” Jones said he and Olajuwon worked specifically on post moves. “He has so many counters and ways to get to the middle of the paint, which is the best way to score for a big,” Jones said. “He is teaching me ways to get there.” Houston Chronicle

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The Hall of Famer was speaking Tuesday from Nigeria, where he was helping to launch a basketball initiative for youth. Even from half a world away, though, Olajuwon was thinking about the struggles of his current pupil, Howard, who he mentored in the offseason after the big man signed a four-year, $88-million free agent contract with the Rockets, Olajuwon’s former team. “The truth is that I can’t wait to get back to Houston to do more work with Dwight,” said Olajuwon, who left Houston in early October to return to his home in Amman, Jordan and has been keeping track of his pupil on TV. “I wish he was doing a better job. “Dwight has always been athletic and aggressive and he still is. But when I watch him, what I see are opportunities that he is missing. When he gets the ball, he seems to be taking his time to decide what move to make, where he should go. NBA.com

“There should not be a delay for Dwight. He must be able to make a faster recognition of the situations and react immediately with a go-to move. You must move right away before the defense has a chance to set up. You must be the one making the first move so that you can force the defender to always be the one reacting. “I thought we were doing a good job with this when we were working together over the summer and at the start of training camp. But what I see now is that when Dwight gets in competition, he has a tendency to go back to all of his old habits. He’s just doing all of the things that he did before. He needs a reminder.” NBA.com

Olajuwon plans to return to Houston prior to the NBA All-Star break in February and will remain in Houston through the end of the season and the playoffs. “Maybe if I am there with him all of the time we can reinforce new habits and make it all feel natural,” Olajuwon said. NBA.com

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